Socialist Worker

Labour is missing its chance to hurt the Tories over the EU

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2504

Cameron and Johnson are tearing lumps out of each other—nows the time to put the boot in

Cameron and Johnson are tearing lumps out of each other—now's the time to put the boot in

It couldn’t be clearer that there is a chance to topple Cameron over the EU vote—but Labour is throwing the chance away. It should be boosting the left exit campaign.

Instead former Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls spoke for Remain alongside Tory chancellor George Osborne and former business secretary Vince Cable on Monday. The event was organised by union-buster Michael O’Leary’s Ryanair.

Speaking alongside the hated Tories means Labour risks getting punished.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said last Saturday that responsibility for many of the problems people face “lies in 10 Downing Street, not in Brussels”.

His comments were reportedly a response to concerns within the Remain camp that they are encountering significant hostility to the EU on the doorstep in traditional Labour areas.

The Tories are the immediate enemy but the EU is thoroughly reactionary.

If Corbyn backed Leave he would seal Cameron’s fate and destroy the argument that only right wingers are for exit.

The Green Party’s Caroline Lucas and Natalie Bennett, shadow chancellor John McDonnell and Yanis Varoufakis are to tour to persuade left wing voters to choose to stay in the EU.

Varoufakis has repeatedly described how the EU forced the Greek government to “subject itself to financial waterboarding before any finance was offered”.

He now claims that it can be a force for good. But fundamental changes would require the agreement of all 28 EU states.

Meanwhile the Labour left group Momentum’s national committee was to decide this Saturday whether to take a national position on the referendum, and if so what it should be.

It has asked supporters what their views are on the issue.

It should back Leave.

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